Mark Brown of Rocky Mountain News reports that "even though METALLICA's battle with Napster is fading into the past, critics of the band still hang on to it.
Just last week, someone started an Internet hoax story — that METALLICA had copyrighted the chords D and F and would sue anyone who used them in a song.
Guitarist/singer James Hetfield laughs uncontrollably when told of the story.
"That's so awesome," he finally gasps. "I find that extremely funny."
But it wasn't always easy to laugh after the band filed suit to keep fans from illegally downloading its music.
"We turned into the cliché greedy target. It was such an easy word to throw out," Hetfield says. What was worse was "the personal trauma it did to us as people, not just as 'The Mighty METALLICA.' At the end of the day it's four humans. And especially for Lars (Ulrich), it was difficult to be the hated figure."
Isn't it galling, though, to be proven right? The industry is now in disarray over downloading and is filing lawsuits against downloaders as well.
Hasn't METALLICA earned the right to an apology, or at least one good "We told you so?"
"That doesn't need to happen. We did what we needed to do," Hetfield says. The criticism will go on, he expects, "until there's the next thing to make fun of. People who enjoy critiquing other people's lives instead of their own, they'll continue until they find their next victim."